As I entered my thirties, my career was moving along nicely but I didn’t feel any fireworks for the job. While I was making good money in a respectable position, I didn’t feel any enthusiasm for my work. Slowly, I became one of those jabronis who dreads going to work every day for a measly paycheck. In truth, the best part of my work day was the fat joint I would smoke every night on my way home.
The business isn’t just for gangsters and degenerates anymore.
2017 will be my second year in the business, and the last before fully legalized marijuana becomes the law of the land in the Bear-Flag state. Our federal government has fought a war on cannabis for decades and the good guys are finally winning but the fight is far from done.
We love what we do.
Many folks think that with the pending legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, the fabled Green Rush is approaching it’s peak. While the industry is certainly thriving now, the rush is just beginning. California is set to be the largest cannabis marketplace in the world when it opens in January of 2018. Additionally, the national market place is going to be available soon and even a legitimate international marketplace, eventually.
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Detectives, who discovered 130 cannabis farms in a single month earlier this year, believe the potential rewards and lenient sentencing are persuading serious crime groups to become involved in a business for which the basic tools are legally available.
Meanwhile, police intelligence elsewhere in the country has revealed that cannabis is financing gangs who rely on the forced labour of trafficked children from Asia to tend their crops. Last week, a gang leader was jailed for six years after police uncovered a network of cannabis factories in the Midlands and South-east run by a group of Vietnamese and British growers.
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Police estimate that when harvested four times a year, 25 cannabis plants – enough to fit on an average-sized kitchen table – can generate an annual turnover of £40,000. The lure of easy money and the burgeoning demand for super-strong home-grown is fuelling a rise in serious crime.
He believes there is an increasingly urgent problem nationwide: “We are seeing a big increase in the criminal markets around cannabis.
“At the same time you are seeing the ability of individuals to actually grow cannabis and we are seeing this all over the place – sometimes at factory scale and sometimes in bedrooms within houses but actually to make significant amounts of money.”
Yet far from being used for postprandial chill-outs by responsible middle-class tokers, cannabis has become the ultimate criminal cash crop and part of an increasingly violent street economy.
Cash generated by the illicit farms, most of which are sited within houses, is being laundered alongside money from prostitution through legitimate operations such as nail bars.